Dominating defense leads Nevada women’s basketball to victory in season opener 69-53
RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - Nevada women’s basketball collected 23 steals and forced Sacramento State into 28 turnovers to come out with a 69-53 win in its season opener at Lawlor Events Center Thursday night.
Freshman guard Dymonique Maxie led Nevada defensively with nine steals, the second-most by a Nevada player in a single game in the NCAA Era.
Senior forward Lexie Givens recorded a career-high eight steals, good for the fourth-most by a Nevada player in a single game in the NCAA Era.
Junior guard Audrey Roden led Nevada in scoring with 21 points off 44.4% shooting.
Nevada’s 23 steals are the fourth-most by a Wolf Pack squad in a single game in the NCAA Era and the 2023-24 team is the first squad under head coach Amanda Levens to record at least 20 steals in a single game.
A steal from Maxie in the closing seconds allowed fifth year guard Claire Jacobs to knock down her first 3-pointer as a member of the Pack to give Nevada an eight-point lead after the first quarter.
A fastbreak layup by Maxie allowed Nevada to go up by double-digits to start the second quarter, but Sacramento State went on a scoring run to make it a one-possession game. A 3-pointer by Roden with just over one minute to play allowed the Pack to go back up by five and carry the lead into the locker room.
Nevada opened the third quarter by draining a couple of baskets, with a jumper by Maxie making it a double-digit lead. Maxie immediately jumped the Sacramento State pass out of Nevada’s press, resulting in a Roden layup that put Nevada ahead by 12.
The Pack moved ahead by 17 in the third quarter, but Sacramento State finished the quarter on a 10-2 scoring run.
The Pack weathered the quick Hornet storm by going on a 15-0 scoring run to start the fourth quarter and move ahead by 22. A pair of layups by Sacramento State cut the deficit down to 16 to close the final quarter, but the lead was too much for the Hornets and Nevada clinched its season opener.
Nevada goes on the road to take on Long Beach State at 1 p.m. Sunday. The game will be available to watch on ESPN+ and on the air on KPLY 630 AM.
- Nevada recorded 23 steals and forced Sacramento State into 28 turnovers. The 23 steals are the fourth-most by a Wolf Pack squad in a single game in the NCAA Era.
- Freshman guard Dymonique Maxie led Nevada defensively with nine steals, the second-most by a Nevada player in a single game in the NCAA Era. Maxie, who was inserted into the starting lineup, is the first Nevada freshman to start a season opener since the 2019-20 season.
- Senior forward Lexie Givens recorded a career-high eight steals, the fourth-most by a Nevada player in a single game in the NCAA Era.
- Nevada won its season opener for the first time since the 2020-21 season.
- Three out of the five players in Nevada’s starting lineup were newcomers (Dymonique Maxie, Kaylen Banwareesingh, Claire Jacobs).
- Fifth year guard Claire Jacobs surpassed the 1,500 career point mark dating back to her time at La Salle.
- After Sacramento State scored the opening bucket in the fourth quarter, Nevada went on a 15-0 scoring run to stretch the lead to 22 points.
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